We're eloping! Where should we celebrate, just the two of us.
My fiancé and I have decided to get married, 10 months before our wedding, as a way to celebrate privately before the craziness of the "official" celebration We live in orange county and were going to do it on a Friday afternoon, then have a great dinner and spend the night in a great hotel room. The question is, where should we eat? We're willing to travel for something spectacular, if needed(LA, etc). We love food and were hoping for a place you wouldn't go to on a regular basis. A place with, above all, spectacular, creative, exciting food, but also nice atmosphere suitable for the celebratory mood. I love all types of food, but my fiancé doesn't really eat sushi. Other than that, the sky is the limit. We're willing to spend some cash, but not for a place that's all atmosphere and meh food. Thanks for your help!
If you want to have a lovely evening and stroll back to your room then the Studio at the Montage would be a good bet to cover your evening in romantic glory. Just talking food then Marche Moderne in Costa Mesa would probably rate as number one. First Cabin has gotten some good reviews here at the Balboa Bay Club and Mastro's Ocean Beach and Pascal are contenders as well.
Enjoy your high tech loping (E-loping!) ;-D>
30801 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA
3333 Bristol Street, Suite 3001, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Pascal (Tradition by)
1000 Bristol Street North, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Balboa Bay Club
1221 W Coast Hwy Ste 145, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Note that Tradition by Pascal closes after Valentine's Day (how French!) and Monsieur Olhats will focus on his other restaurants. However, he reported to the Daily Pilot that Tradition will become the new home of Christophe Eme, late of Ortolan, who will be offering a more casual take on French food than he used to prepare. I like the Studio recommendation best, though, considering the OP's comments; however, I agree with you that, if food alone were the consideration, Marche Moderne would be the top choice.
Shutters/Capo is good, but Melisse and the Bel Air is better. Much better. Shutters can be romantic, but the Hotel Bel Air iswhole 'nuther level of romance - one of the most romantic hotels in the world. Melisse is more formal, more special, more indulgent than Capo - which is solidly good. And if you can't make Melisse, Wolfgang Puck has a restaurant at the Bel Air.
But I'd say rent a limo, go to Melisse, then to the Bel Air, and wake up in paradise.
But I'd do Melisse, Bel Air, and then breakfast at the Terrace at the Bel Air. Please, just check out the website of the Bel Air before you do anything. 12 acres of lush Beverly Hills flora. It's amazingly charming and it just went thru a 100 million dollar renovation. There are swans and ponds and creeks. I'll include a pic.
That makes sense, but this is Chowhound, not Hotelhound. I'm assuming dining is a priority and though there is a tremendous likelihood that Wolfgang Puck at The Bel Air will be a solid restaurant, I really don't know anyone I trust who has tried it.
When I travel - I make reservations at restaurants, and then find the best hotel nearby. Get the best of two worlds and a 15 minute drive to the hotel.
Since this is a special night - I'd get a limo so, after we've done the two Carte Blanche menus at Melisse with wine pairings - hop in the limo and use that 15 minute ride to the hotel as warming up for the main event. In fact I'd get to the hotel first, check in, have some champagne as the sun set, then go to dinner. There's only once chance on this special night - and pragmatism over decadence shouldn't be an issue.
Here are some more ideas though I do think Hotel Bel Air would be my first call. Animal and the Andaz Hotel. Hollywood area and a younger crowd and feel at both (don't know how old ya'll are).
Michael's and the Fairmont Miramar. Another Santa Monica possibility and if you throw down for one of the bungalow's...OMG. At Michael's, make sure you get a patio table--there are enough that if you plan ahead it shouldn't be too difficult. As romatic a table as you can get.
For my Beverly Hills ideas you can just mix and match restaurants and hotels at whim as they are all either in the same building or very close to each other. Scarpetta, CUT & Spago with either the Montage, Beverly Wilshire (a Four Seasons property) or the Four Seasons Beverly Hills which is about a 5 min. cab ride away. A note here, the food at CUT is pretty terrific but it is first and foremost a steakhouse.
I can't figure out how to get the food reco right or I'd say you could keep going up the coast to Bacara. Cheers